My Love of Animals

I am a sap.  I watch “Animal Cops: Houston” and cry regularly.  Inhumane treatment of animals or children will evoke tears from me in a second.  I have always been an animal lover, caregiver and advocate.  My wonderful, loving mother passed this trait on to me, and taught me from a very young age that treating animals properly is the job of every human.  As a child I rescued injured or abandoned baby wild animals, birds, squirrels, and the such.  I made them well if I could and released them back to the wild.  If they died, I properly buried them and sent them over the Rainbow Bridge as well as I could.  Yes, I love all animals.  

It’ makes me sad that there is even the need for shows like Animal Cops…that there is such cruelty and neglect and outright criminal contempt for some animals in this world.  The Houston TX SPCA alone saves 40,000 animals a year, on a budge reliant upon individual donations alone.  It’s an amazing thing that they do, and they do it with such bravery, courage and compassion.  I wish I had a million dollars just to send to them to help them continue.  

I watch the show, and remind Nola how very very lucky she is that I found her in the cardboard box in New Orleans 4 years ago on the coming 31st of July. She lives the life of a very spoiled, much loved little dog now and will until the end.  I love that dog without end.  She was a gift to my life at a time that I so needed her that it wasn’t funny.  And there she was, needing me right back.  Thank you God.  

I have always been around animals and just love the unconditional love and trust that they give to me.  I used to have horses, goats, chickens, cats, and even a very large and nasty iguana at one time (a rescue).  I realize that at this point in my life, right now, I am not in a position to have large animals anymore, but I can give the best home and care possible to Nola and perhaps even foster another small dog or cat.  I also realize that the interactions that I have with animals is important to me; to who I am in this world.  So I have sent an email to two local rescue organizations offering foster care as I am able to do so for them.  

I hope if you see a situation of neglect, abuse or mistreatment that you will get involved, even an anonymous phone call to your local police department could mean the difference between life and certain death to some helpless animal.  Often people are afraid to “get involved” and that attitude needs to stop.  GET INVOLVED.  Step up, step in and do what the animal can not do – call someone for help on the phone, let someone who cares and CAN help do so!  

The current economic crisis in the country is not helping animal welfare one bit.  It’s become expensive to have animals – particularly larger animals such as horses and the such.  If you have an animal and find that you are starting to slack on feed or care because of the rising costs, just do the right thing – reach out for help.  There is no shame in asking for help, or even in surrendering an animal to a humane organization because you are suddenly unemployed and cannot care for the animal any longer…NO SHAME…because the right thing to do is ask for help, consider the animal’s well-being and be the grown up person who does the right thing.  Sometimes the right thing and the hardest things are one in the same, as sad as it is, but please, always do that right thing!  Because, in the long run, you will be happier knowing you did what you had to do than you would be in watching an animal slowly deteriorate from lack of proper nutrition or care.  Don’t have regrets.  Plus, there are people like me out here who want to help, who CAN help and who are dying to do so!  

If you are in a bad situation regarding an animal, write to me, call me, or someone who can help!  I will do everything in my power to find someone near you who will help you, and the animal. 

“Daddy” and Children in Lesbian Relationships

I did a video at the request of a dear friend today, it addresses my thoughts and views on children calling one of the women in a lesbian relationship “Daddy”, as in being expected to view that woman as the “Daddy” in the situation, and attaching all of the meaning of that word to that woman.  Now, I am speaking of woman to woman relationships, Butch – Femme or not.  As a Butch that identifies as a woman also, I am not speaking of the use of it in a situation involving one individual being FTM, or a transguy. THAT I view very differently, and am not opposed to the practice of using “Daddy” in that realm at all.

But, in a lesbian relationship, let’s face it folks, we are both women.  And there is no “Daddy” in the picture.  And calling a person who identifies as a woman “Daddy” can be just plain confusing to a young person, and to that young person’s friends – who WILL question him/her about it at some point, posing an awkward discussion at the least.  I know, some people practice this, and hey, it’s their personal business, but I can’t help but just wonder what the reasoning behind this practice really IS for them, and if they consider the future difficulties this could cause for the child/children.  

I have a little dog companion, Nola.  Now, often I tell Nola “I’m the bestest Daddy, huh Nola?” and other endearing things referring to me as her “Daddy”…then 10 minutes later I do some weird sort of inner virtual switch and become the “bestest Mommy”…it’s just a thing, with a non-verbal PET, that I have no idea why I started doing.  I think it’s harmless, the other neighborhood dogs are oblivious to the language between me and Nola – only Nola gets that!  And SHE is actually the bully of the neighborhood anyway!  LOL…I laugh, but seriously I have to rein her in quite frequently as she lets other animals in the vicinity know that some tiny part of her is full blooded wolf, and THIS is HER territory.  She’s so friggin cute.

Back to my original topic, and one I did a Youtube vlog yesterday about: children calling one of the women in a lesbian relationship “Daddy”…I know this is controversial, and that some people think that I am wrong to even think that this shouldn’t happen.  But the word Daddy is one used for males in situations raising children for the most part.  It has a meaning and is conceived by society to be proper to use for that man who represents a father to the child.  When two women are raising children, what do the children call them?  May I suggest Mom and Mommy, or maybe some other affectionate term like Pookie??  Why would one want to be called “Daddy” by a child if she is a female identity?  I may be Butch, and I may ride the line towards masculinity very hard, but I don’t want a kid calling me “Daddy” because I don’t want that child to be confused, teased, have to explain or be expected to deal with any range of other issues that can come up.  I just don’t want to put that burden on any child.  Gender is confusing enough, especially when you are growing up, and making it more confusing just isn’t something I want to be involved in.  

I’m curious about the various views on this topic of my readers.  Leave me a comment below about how you handle or would handle this situation in your own life.  I am not judging anyone, we are all free to do as we please and see fit, and this is just my personal opinion on this subject.  

Optimism Dashed..

ImageNote:  If you are a newer reader/viewer quick update:  I am an HIV+ Lesbian, due to IV drug use in my 20’s.  I have lived with this diagnosis for almost 20 years now, and probably was infected 23 years ago, during my last active using time. I have lived with this issue very successfully, happily and compliantly (mostly) for a very long time and consider myself lucky – and just too fucking stubborn to let it interfere with my life.  

So, my week was looking pretty good, I had a doctor’s appointment with the infectious disease (I hate that description) specialist on Tuesday and I was pretty optimistic that things were going to come back great with my blood work that was done the previous Thursday.  I feel good, look good and things seemed to be better overall in the health department, I was keeping up with my medication protocol and being good.  So I headed to the appointment at 3pm on Tuesday, arrived and weighed in…not bad, no weight loss or gain, steady and solid.  Did the preliminary stuff with the nurse and waited on the doctor for a couple of minutes. 

The doctor came in, asked how I felt and immediately told me my blood pressure was high today.  Odd, I NEVER have had a high reading in my life, always ran on the low side.  But I did go through some road rage and smoked a couple of butts before arriving so we wrote it off to that.  Then she said, “Well, your blood work came back with some troubling numbers.”  And I about fell out of the chair.  WHAT?  HOW?  WHAT DO YOU MEAN “TROUBLING”???

Seems that my CD4 count had DROPPED from 400 3 months ago, after a short time on the new med regimen, and my viral burden had dropped WAY down.  But this current test showed my CD4’s had DROPPED to 151…I felt like a bottle of Bacardi.  (heh).  No Way.  It’s the LOWEST reading I have ever had.  And it freaks me out to be below 200 because the CDC Gods want to slap that AIDS diagnosis on you when you do drop below that number.  No way did I want or need that diagnosis hanging over my life.  I was in shock.  How could this BE???

So here’s the kicker.  My viral burden (the amount of HIV detected in my blood) came back as “undetectable” and my CD4/CD8 percentage had risen from 20 3 months ago to 30 on this recent test – both EXCELLENT and expected results!  Both mean that I have been taking my medications and they ARE working…so why the drop in CD4’s???  A puzzling and worrisome question for both me and my doctor.  And very disheartening for me.

I am continuing on the multi-drug cocktail and hoping (praying) that this is some kind of lab error on the test.  I am scheduled to retest in mid August and hope that the new results will reflect more favorably.  In the meantime I go up and down with my reaction to this devastating news.  Part of me (and all my family and friends) says wait and retest and don’t get wound up about it.  The other part, the dark side, has been planning my funeral.  

In the meantime, I have to be careful about being around groups of people; or putting myself at risk by coming into contact with sick people in any way.  I am generally careful about this already, but this 151 test result has me hyper-vigilant.  HIV has never frightened me – until this week.  I’ve always held the belief that I CAN beat this and last til there’s a cure.  And while my resolve has been shaken, I somehow am still holding on to that dream.  

Thanks to my awesome cyber friends, viewers on Youtube and readers here.  I do truly appreciate your support and you input in comments.  Hang in there with me, I’ll be around here a long ass time writing and vlogging about the life and thoughts of MainelyButch!  Peace!

Not Anymore

I fight some serious depression in my world.  I don’t know really when it started or when it will go the fuck away.  But the fact is that it’s part of what I continually deal with and I absolutely hate it.  I wish like hell I could wake up one morning, not feeling depressed and useless and be completely happy with my life for a change.  I think a lot of shit contributes to it, being alone, living alone, not having anything or anyone to focus on or share my days with, or a meal with or to even just watch TV with, in my life.  But still, single people must encounter this shit all the time. Why does it feel so hard for me.?  Maybe because I am not really “used” to being single or alone in life.  I have tried and am still trying, to adjust and to accept it and find some reasons to be happier in life.  It is cyclic at times, I have good days and bad days.  Some days when I have a lot of things I can think up to occupy my time I have a good day.  I go to be feeling more accomplished and contented that I did something productive with my time.  Then those days that are the worst I can seem to lift myself up to do anything.  Even showering hurts.  My body hurts.  My brain hurts.  I get emotional and cry with virtual ease.  Everything seems to evoke emotions of sadness.  I think of depressing things like being without different people, or not being able to get up and do what I want to do. 

I used to take medications for depression.  They left me feeling just plain empty, with NO emotion, which I felt was worse than being able to FEEL it and react to it.  Thus I choose now to go through this without medications, and I want to stay that way.  But I have to figure out something to control things better.  Something to put more structure in my life so that I am not allowed the luxury of just blowing off the day and doing nothing with my time or my life.  

I come up with ideas like volunteer at the animal shelter.  I’d be good at that, but I would also be very emotional about it – thus it scares me a bit.  Perhaps I could learn to handle my reactions and it would push me to become more proactive in the animal rights community.  What stops me is the just getting up and going to the shelter and asking to volunteer.  Sometimes I need someone to push me a bit.  I reach out to my mother quite often, she can motivate me.  She gets me out of the house and out of my own head when she does come up and spend time with me.  I cherish those times, I cherish her.  I guess I am also afraid of rejection, of not being accepted as a volunteer by whichever organization I go to.  I applied to one, they came and did a home inspection and now I have never heard back from them…which I find strange and a bit unprofessional.  I volunteered to foster a dog for them if they needed.  You would thing they would jump on the offer.  I should call and ask outright why I have never heard back.  I KNOW I passed the home inspection, there was no reason I would not.  My place is clean, healthy, and has plenty of room for another dog and I am available pretty much full time.  Yes, I guess I should call.  

I used to be a much more social kind of person.  Someone who had a lot of friends.  But that was when I had a partner too.  I think single people sometimes are discriminated against unknowingly just for being single.  They are less likely to be asked over for dinner, less likely to be invited to parties, and just less of a thought I guess when events come up that include others.  When you are part of a couple you seem to be a sort of unit that others gravitate toward and want around, you get invited everywhere and thought of often.  Single people are easy to overlook.  That makes me sad.  I wish I could meet a woman, start a relationship and be back in that world so very much.  

I wish I knew the answers to ending this vicious cycle.  I wish I had someone to motivate me, to encourage me and to celebrate the little things with me.  I wish for someone to eat dinner with – hell, to make me even want or remember to eat at all sometimes.  I wish someone else would pick what I watch on TV.  Or that someone would want to go to a movie, the beach, the park, or just for a Sunday drive.  I am so sick and tired of being alone and lonely and of crying like a stupid baby every day.  I am seriously beginning to hate my life; to question my existence and the reason I even wake up every morning.  What good am I?  No one needs me.  Not anymore.  And I just struggle to make it through one day after another, with no real purpose or intent.  Yet, I keep doing it.  I don’t know why.

Like I do…

We’ve all been there, that spot where you are SO angry that you say things to your lover – oh wait TODAY she’s your EX-“lover” because you split up yesterday – that you will eventually come to either regret saying or that you will not believe you actually said to her!  

Like….

“NO ONE could EVER love you like I do!”
“No one else could give you what you NEED like I do!”
“No one will put up with your whinny ass like I do!!!”
“Go ahead, try to find someone who loves you like I do!”
“I am the BEST thing that EVER happened to you, you will regret losing me!”
         (even tho she’s the one who let YOU go)
“She could NEVER love you like I do!”
“Who will every understand you like I do?”
“No one will ever find you as attractive/pretty/beautiful like I do!”
“No one will ever give you the things you like like I do!”
…and the list of these “like I do’s” can go on virtually indefinitely…culminating with
“No ONE can make an ass out of them selves like I do!”
No, you are right, no one can do it like you do.  And perhaps it is because you do things like you do that we are no longer together!  Perhaps I need to step out into the world and do things LIKE I DO for a change!
Any good “like I do” stories out there?  I bet you can add to my list for sure!

Shaking the Umbrella

It seems, unfortunately in 2012 that being comfortable in just being who you are, and allowing others to do that same thing, not policing them in return – even when they do it to you – has just become the sort of “norm” way of thinking inside of the LGBTQ  community   I am saddened by stories I hear about individuals (and groups) being put down by others inside of the LGBTQ umbrella for expressing themselves as individuals, and not being swayed by “stereotypes” or “rules” of how to act, be or present that appeases our seeming need to be seen as normal in the world at large.

Since I began questioning the ideas of gender policing, transphobia, and hate from within the LGBTQ community itself, I have recieved quite a bit of input from others.  Some telling me their horror stories of incidents they endured, or that a partner or lover went through.  Some lamenting the by-gone days when it was “ok to be gay” and we all carried the rainbow flag together – Butches, Femmes, Dykes, Queers, Bisexuals, Trans people and those still seeking their identity.

Be that.  The LGBTQ community has become so hostile towards it’s own “members” in recent years; no longer affording us a “safe space” to just be the unique individuals we are intended to be.  But trying to “police” us and set “guidelines and rules” for who can and cannot claim an identity, a lifestyle, or just their own unique style.  For some reason some have gravitated toward more rigidity in how others are “supposed” to present to the rest of the world, which lends heavily to the “one bad apple” thing that happens so easily when you are already part of a group that is already viewed thru the eyes of skepticism.

Remember the Toronto Gay Pride chair who wanted – paraphrasing here – us to tone it down – ie no “Butch” lesbians or “Flambouyant” gay men, but for the crowd to exhibit a more “family friendly or normal” presentation in the parade?— Yeah, like let’s all pretend we are “normal” like the rest of this fucked up world’s inhabitants! SMH

God forbid that we take “pride” in who we ARE, in our own families and in our community as a whole.  I remember that incident very vividly, because, as a Stone Butch myself, I felt completely negated – within the so called “safety net” of the community that I loved – and represented.  And by someone who was supposed to be leading a showing of PRIDE and fighting PREJUDICE.  It felt to me like a direct insult; a frontal attack and left a very very bad taste in my mouth that I have yet to be able to fully rinse from existence.  I only wish I had the opportunity to address the person who spewed those words into the air with such whimsical ease; to say, “HEY, wait a damned minute!…”

I have so much more to share related to this topic of hate and discrimination experienced under the umbrella.  I thank those who have taken the time to contact me with their painful recollections -L, G, B, T, and Q’s!  And please if you would like to share I am wide open for hearing your experiences and opinions!  More to come…

Internal Shifting. Odd Patterns. Curious Changes.

shot in South Berwick, Maine
A double rainbow, Maine

This may come off as a totally looney-bin admitting kind of post – but please don’t send the phyche squad just yet!  It’s a bit “out there” but I believe that I can tie this all together in the end…if there is one!

Life feels different to me as of late.  I feel like something inside of me – and outside – is moving; shifting and changing in strange, sometimes scary, and sometimes wonderful and welcome, ways; those are the feelings I am mentally “tuned” into – and a kind of frequency that I do NOT know or understand at all.  But am very interested in doing just that – understanding it!  There has been a significant increase in my emotional responses, coinciding with my beginning to develop greater senses of mental clarity; in my re-defining things, people and issues in my life in entirely new and unique ways.  I don’t only feel a personal shift taking place, but I can feel the world around me moving or acting differently, as well.  It’s showing in the weather, the political climate, the new posturing of countries, governments, the changing attitudes of peoples, and even in the movement of the actual earth itself.  I don’t know or understand “why” I am feeling this; what is happening to me or to anything, but I can feel it happening very palpably. (No, I am not on drugs, or drinking tequila!  but I knew you’d ask!)  And I feel like it’s something to be discussed, analysed and watched, for better understanding and comprehension.

This must sound like total hokey-pokey to you dear reader, but stay with me for a moment, because although I have no truly “logical” explanation for any of it – for the way I feel or the way things are presenting to me in such rather odd, yet new, and unique ways.  I just know it’s happening, and I am in no way to stop it or even try to stop it – nor COULD I stop it if I so wished!  I am supposed to roll with it, according to my gut instinct – which I rarely question as it has always led me down the right road, or to the right decision in the end.  Maybe it did not feel that way at the time it was happening – whatever it may have been – but my hind-sight always saw the reason and understood that that was exactly what I was “supposed to do”.

I have been wishing, wanting and waiting to know my life’s purpose for most of my life now!  Don’t we ALL do that?  Don’t we all question what it is we are here to do in this world?  Why we were born? And why we are where we are at this moment in time?  Hell, maybe for me this is the brink of the abyss that I must fall into before discovering and knowing that purpose.  I have wished for and wanted change in my life, for clearer understanding of myself and why I am here in this body, walking this path through the world, for a very long time it seems.  And I have been a bit focused on figuring this out for some time now, and the new mental clarity I am experiencing is making me think that I am “onto something” here!

The shifts are alarming me in some ways, but my instinct says for me to relax and that I have been waiting for this to happen for a very long time – for my entire existence.  Again, I try to listen smartly to instinct.  One of the alarming things has been the funny (albeit a bit disturbing)  appearance and recurrence of words and numbers in my daily life.  Whether they come from reading, writing, balancing my checkbook, or as a visual from TV, the internet or in my daily “real life”, the recurrence of these things is just plain weird. There is no other way to put it in a word.  Yet, somehow it also seems to be lining up to make some sort of sense in the end.  Who knows what that “end” is, but there is one.  This I know.

I feel myself sweeping away old ways of thinking and doing things, and in turn doing things that create a sort of rebirth toward a new way of life.  And this seems to be “just happening” it’s nothing that I am really having to “work” at doing.  I seem to be on some sort of guided internal auto-pilot setting.  Why would I need a “new way of life” I have to ask myself? Sure, I want a better life, a more meaningful life, and maybe a more fun life – as everyone wants in general – But, what exactly is this all about?  Where is it coming from – inside? outside? the air? …yes, the air has even got a feeling of “energy” to me lately, one that is vibrating, sort of, at a very high, high frequency.

What’s that you think? Ah – storms perhaps? Or, could the barely perceptible, almost electrical, “vibrations” I am feeling be some indication of what is causing these odd and unexpected storms we have been seeing occur across our country in recent weeks? Storms like we have never seen or experienced before in our lifetimes anyways.  Strange, sudden and violent storms have been beating some states senseless, leaving just wide swaths of destruction.  Strange weather patterns, from last winter’s weird “calm” and warmth, to an April of 80 degree days, and the start of July with out of control wild-fires in Colorado to the sudden and violent thunder and lightening storms scraping away landscape and homes throughout the mid-Atlantic region – with little to NO warning.

I have personally heard residents of the area actually refer to them as “just plain weird” – things that no one had ever seen happen before!  (heard via news reports, resident interviews, and by telephone conversations I have had with my girlfriend in VA).  There isn’t even a historical record of these kinds of storms – or of that magnitude – ever happening previously without being a (classed, generally tracked and fore-warned) full blown hurricane. No, these are definitely a new and unique type of storm.  These are storms with the intention to violently blow, shake and destroy everything in their paths; frightening, storms with a purpose.

Yep, weird. Freak storms? Random incidents? Who knows!  I am willing to BET that someone does know, but holds this information very close to the breast, so to speak.  And I am not a “conspiracy theorist” by any means, but you can’t tell me that someone in our government (nosey bastards that they ARE) is not right on this studying the hell out of it and keeping the research very hush so as not to “scare the public” or cause any sort of panic among people.

All I know, as a reasonable and intelligent human being, is that something has “shifted” and is causing – or contributing to the cause of – these rather unique patterns of weather related / planetary happenings.  Or is it all just “coincidence” to simply be written off in the history books as natural disasters?  Do YOU believe it’s coincidence? Seriously?  Or are you afraid to consider that perhaps something is awry?  I also believe that people are experiencing changes, shifts and alterations as well in their lives, due to these storms, due to the alignment of the stars? Who knows…could be a big fat combination of a ton of things!  But SOMETHING is changing about our world in the present moment…it’s like evolution on speed.  Perhaps it’s the dawning of the age of Aquarius?  LOL  Hey, I am open to any and all theories at the moment!

Often as human beings we like to pretend that things are not “happening” because we do not like it when we cannot explain things in solid, scientific ways and that alone confuses us and causes fear – because we all fear the unknown – it’s only natural in our genetic composition.  We become “held back” by the fear of what we know, and do not know.  Knowledge causes us fear in so many ways.  But not knowing drives us absolutely nuts!  And facing our fear is the only way to release it’s hold over us – as a group and as unique individuals.

Ok, so you all think I am now flipping my lid, I am sure.  And that’s actually okay with me, because I am not seeking any kind of validation or confirmation of my feelings and ideas of what I am seeing/feeling that is going on around the world, and of what I see and am experiencing as a “shift” and a rush of energy within myself as well.  Things ARE changing, inside of me, outside of me, in the world, and I sense that it’s happening VERY fast.

I spoke of things “appearing and recurring” words and numbers specifically.  Some of the words I refer to as appearing in my life randomly and yet over and over are (in no particular order) “extreme, new, thoughts, transitional, transformation, break free, consciousness, radical, alter, action, deepening, awakening, commitments, plans, manifest, fear, freedom, letting go, habits, success and patterns”  And those stupid numbers, 11:11, 12:12, 10:10, 1:11, 1:23, 12:34, 3:21…strange…sequential or same numbers.  I look at the clock, the cell phone, the computer, the TV and I see the time constantly (or it feels that way!) and see these numbers pop up.  And we all know about the 11:11 phenomenon (or rumored theory more accurately), even Ellen Degeneres has named her record label/talent agency ElevenEleven.com.  So while I may be weird, I do not feel alone in my questioning!  I believe that others feel it, too.  Perhaps even you, dear reader, are feeling a little out of sorts lately and cannot “put your finger on it” but you feel unsettled and perhaps a bit askew even?  Maybe reading this has sparked some strange recognition in yourself, of things happening with you, or those close to you, that is leaving you feeling a bit of fear for the unknown?  I know I have a healthy fear of this “feeling” that I am connecting with, yet I am incredibly curious and I desire to KNOW MORE!

I want to understand and fully participate in the “shift” towards good; let go of the past and dive head-long into the future to open up untapped personal potential.  I want to be one who DOES break free of the “group mind” and think outside that box of general “public opinion”.

I often read my horoscopes just for fun.  But lately they are so accurate that it’s scary!  And the words keep appearing in those too!  It has to make me wonder if there isn’t really something to the astrological signs!  I’ve never taken them “seriously” but have always read them – since I learned to read and found them in the daily newspaper as a child – and thought about them.  Once in a while something would “click” in them for me, and I would be in a bit of wonder.  But never took them to heart in any kind of serious way.  But lately…I have been delving into them deeper and reading more about sun signs and planetary alignments.  And THIS is really scary!  Because they seem to be “right on target” with what is happening inside of me and in my life, and around me – and with much of what I write about right here in this blog!  Something strange, and wonderful, and yet fraught with fear and danger to be dealt with, is happening to us all, And the signs are all there, is anyone else listening?  Does anyone else “hear” what I am saying – or what I am trying desperately to express here?  Or am I just a nut case waiting to crack?  🙂  LOL…don’t answer that!

This was a very fun blog to write, to think about and I know putting it out there may make me look a little “crazy” but honestly I am not, I’m only questioning what I am feeling and seeing go on around me.  I’ve been keeping a hand-written journal of things as well, it just amazes the shit right outta me!  🙂  Perhaps you got some insight, or at least some laughs, out of it too!  I do hope.

Peace and love.  ~MainelyButch